Ethan Allen (a rebel) demands the surrender of Fort Ticonderoga, “In the Name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!”
It’s easier to understand why South Carolina and other Southern States desired to secede and get away from ideologically-crazed crybully left-wing Abolitionists. The Civil War has been over for more than a century and a half. The North won. Slavery was abolished. The South was invaded, burned, conquered, occupied and forcibly Reconstructed.
The Secessionists are dead, ask a college student about the Battle of Gettysburg and he’ll say: Huh? but today, the Left has resumed fighting. Monuments to Southern heroes are being removed, the Confederate Battle Flag (now, really just an amorphous symbol of undefined Southern geography, Redneck identity, or unfocused rebelliousness) is being outlawed, and even the high school in South Burlington, Vermont, land of Bernie Sanders, has become a New Civil War battleground.
In 1961, when education leaders in South Burlington decided that a newly built high school should be nicknamed the Rebels, nobody batted an eyelash. After all, this community was founded when it split from greater Burlington about 150 years ago.
Yet this city on the shores of Lake Champlain has never seen anything quite like the current revolt under way. Three months ago, the Board of School Directors decided the Rebels moniker had offensive connotations and, therefore, needed to go.
Those Vermonters who didn’t agree with the decision reacted like, well, Vermonters.
“I don’t think constantly caving in to political correctness is appropriate in this day and age,” says Linus Leavens, a 1972 South Burlington High School graduate and the father of a student there. “I think a lot of America feels that way; there was an election recently that showed that.”
In the opinion of Mr. Leavens, a gallery manager for a fine-arts auctioneer, “Vermont has been full of rebels for a long time.”
To protest the decision, local opponents have twice helped vote down the nearly $50 million school district budget. Signs saying, “Be a Rebel. Vote No” dotted yards. Plans for a third vote on the budget are in the works.
“I can’t remember anything that has caused this much emotion and division.” says Diane Bugbee, 52 years old. She has a son who is a senior at South Burlington High and backs a new school nickname. Rebels, she says, has too much baggage: “There are just some things that can’t be rebranded.”
Brown University in Providence, R.I. houses one of the country’s most selective undergraduate colleges. The Brown Daily Herald, a student-run newspaper, cites Dean of Admission Logan Powell in reporting that the school received a record-high 32,724 applications this year, and admitted just 8.3% of applicants.
Among those lucky few is the daughter of a Journal reader who is still trying to make sense of a letter the family received this week from Mr. Powell. Our reader’s bright daughter had already received news of her acceptance when a letter arrived that was addressed to her “Parent/Guardian.”
Oddly, the note referred to the accepted student not as “she” but as “they.” Dean Powell’s letter also stated that our reader’s daughter had no doubt worked hard and made positive contributions to “their” school and community. Our reader reports that his perplexed family initially thought that Brown had made a word-processing error. That was before they listened to a voice mail message from the school congratulating his daughter and referring to her as “them.”…
It turns out that the errors were intentional. Brown spokesman Brian Clark writes in an email that “our admission office typically refers to applicants either by first name or by using ‘they/their’ pronouns. While the grammatical construction may read as unfamiliar to some, it has been adopted by many newsrooms and other organizations as a gender-inclusive option.”
The Oldest College Daily surveyed Yale alumni on the renaming of Calhoun College. The results were predictable. Alumni from older classes, males, and whites were more likely to disapprove. Dummer Junger, emotionalist women, and whiny minorities tended to be in favor.
The Daily News did its usual smooth job of warbling hosanas to the river gods as the University goes down the tubes, but a careful reader will find the grudging admission that the Salovey Administration just torched another very large load of affluent alumni support.
61 percent of the 1,816 alumni who responded approved of the renaming, while 29.6 percent of respondents were either “opposed” or “strongly opposed” to the decision. An additional 9.4 percent were neutral on the issue. Sixty-seven percent of respondents graduated between 1980 and 2016, and the remaining 33 percent between 1946 and 1979.
Indeed, more than 78 percent of respondents from the classes of 1946 through 1959 were either “opposed” or “strongly opposed” to renaming, a figure well above the 68 percent of alumni from the 1960s who felt the same way. Among alumni from the 1970s, only 34 percent opposed renaming. And those against the renaming who graduated in the 1980s represented only 19 percent of all respondents from that decade. For every subsequent decade, this figure hovers around 20 percent. …
In addition to indicating their attitude toward the name change in their correspondence with the University, alumni were also divided on how much attention the Calhoun debate deserved, O’Neill said. Many alumni wrote that they felt the Calhoun decision was very significant for Yale, while others thought it was given too much attention and that the University should focus on other priorities.
In addition to a generational divide, the survey also found a split along political leaning, ethnicity and gender. More than 84 percent of alumni who identified as “conservative” or “very conservative” opposed the renaming. Nonwhite respondents were more likely to be supportive of the name change than respondents who identified as Caucasian, and female respondents — all of whom are members of the class of 1971 or later — were significantly more likely to view the decision favorably than men. …
[W]hile other alums said they were impressed by the renaming process and supported Salovey’s handling of the procedure, the survey also showed that many alums were nonetheless discouraged from continuing to donate to the University following the Calhoun decision.
Though this was by no means a universal phenomenon — [Emphasis added -JDZ] only one additional percent of alums who took the survey were discouraged rather than encouraged to give — the name’s negative effect on alumni giving was especially evident in older generations of Yalies.
For the classes from the 50s, for instance, 62.5 percent of alums who reported that they regularly give to the University said their giving was “negatively” or “very negatively” impacted by the name change. This figure stands at almost 57 percent for alums from the 60s, and roughly 28 percent of alumni who graduated during the 70s.
From the 80s on, however, this figure oscillates around 16 percent, and many more alumni responded that they were in fact more inclined to give to the University after the Calhoun decision. Further, of those alumni who said they did not regularly give to the University, almost 64 percent said that their plans to give were not at all affected by the naming decision.
The Crimson reports that “the Puritan stock” is going to be re-written out of Harvard’s alma mater song.
Harvard will hold a competition to change the final line of “Fair Harvard,” the University’s 181-year-old alma mater, which has read “Till the stock of the Puritans die” since its composition in 1836.
Government professor Danielle S. Allen, co-chair of Presidential Task Force for Inclusion and Belonging, announced the plans to change the lyric at a three-hour event the task force held Wednesday in Sanders Theatre. Convened by University President Drew G. Faust in September, the committee is tasked with evaluating Harvard’s efforts to create an inclusive environment and recommend improvements.
The group is also launching a second competition for “a new musical variant” of the alma mater that could be performed as electronic, hip hop, or spoken word music. The traditional music would remain the official mode of performance for the song, but the new mode would be “preserved by the University as an endorsed alternative,” according to the group’s website—“The inspiration is ‘Hamilton.’ The point is to use your imagination,” it reads.
University affiliates can submit lyric and music variant submissions on the task force’s website through September, and winners will be announced in spring 2018.
Also at Wednesday’s event, the “Afternoon of Engagement on Inclusion and Belonging” featured remarks from Faust, stories from Harvard affiliates, and collaborative exercises designed to inform the task force’s future discussions.
In her welcoming remarks, Faust shared a story about receiving letters from young girls around the world after she became the University’s first female president.
“Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are fundamental to our missions and to our identity and essential for creating a better university, and the responsibility for that is one shared by students, faculty, and staff,” she said.
Individuals from across the University then took to the stage to discuss their personal experiences with “belonging.”…
Eden H. Girma ’18… recalled participating in a protest at Primal Scream, a biannual naked run around Harvard Yard before the first day of finals. The protesters wanted to observe minute and a half of silence for black men killed by police, Girma said.
“Thinking back to that experience, with all of the emotions that I had, I can only see at the moment, that seems so clear to me, seeing two Harvards. One, a student body that felt so intrinsically implicated in the violence that was happening in the world, and another that seemed so blind to that,” Girma said. “Thinking retrospectively, I know there are so many nuances to this.”
Fair Harvard! we join in thy Jubilee throng,
And with blessings surrender thee o’er
By these Festival-rites, from the Age that is past,
To the Age that is waiting before.
O Relic and Type of our ancestors’ worth,
That hast long kept their memory warm,
First flow’r of their wilderness! Star of their night!
Calm rising thro’ change and thro’ storm.
Farewell! be thy destinies onward and bright!
To thy children the lesson still give,
With freedom to think, and with patience to bear,
And for Right ever bravely to live.
Let not moss-covered Error moor thee at its side,
As the world on Truth’s current glides by,
Be the herald of Light, and the bearer of Love,
Till the stock of the Puritans die.
Samuel Gilman, Class of 1811
Shouldn’t they also change the song’s title to “Dusky Harvard”?
The admission to elite Ivy League Schools of non-traditional applicants started out as an effort to make more national the constituency of such schools and to discharge what the administrations of those universities saw as a duty to supply a national leadership class. In those days, the basis for the admission of outsider applicants was a combination meritocratic grades and test scores with geographical diversity.
More recently, identity group representation and Affirmative Action compensatory admission of members of favored groups has played a major role in determining the makeup of classes at elite schools.
In my own day, we had only a small number of African-American classmates, but they were admitted on pretty much the same sort of bases as everybody else, getting only a small (equivalent to geographical diversity) number of extra points for being black. Our black classmates consequently integrated into their Yale classes quite conventionally.
A few years later, in the early 1970s, Yale had a larger constituency of African Americans, admitted with a much stronger dose of racial favoritism. Those admittees were commonly far less well prepared for Yale educationally and integrated far less well. They tended to hang out together in all black groups, and spent most of their time in the African-American identity house. One tended not to know any of them. A few were spectacular failures, winding up arrested for crimes on campus. One guy, admitted to Yale out of the New Haven inner city community, was busted for dealing heroin to townies out of his room in Jonathan Edwards.
Today, decades later, the representation of non-traditional minority groups at these elite schools is much larger still, and those groups of students are more unruly, more obsessed with group identity and historical grievances, more self-entitled than ever.
In the early decades of the 20th Century, presidents of elite schools like Harvard placed a strict quota on Jewish admissions, fearing that intensely keen Jewish academic competition would change the composition of classes and the constituency of such schools completely, remaking them into Jewish institutions.
Today, minority admittees and presiding administrations eagerly lobby for fundamentally changing the composition, constituency, and even the complexion of those schools. Matters have reached a point at which the non-traditional groups feel entitled to rename buildings and to purge references and memorials to illustrious alumni and benefactors on the basis of their own amour propre. Now, at Harvard, they are sending the founders and original constituency of the college into exile from the school’s alma mater. All this causes me to wonder: had the people who initiated the effort at diversity admissions been able to foresee this occurring, would they ever have admitted any of these minorities at all in the first place?
Sunday night’s episode of The Simpsons, “Caper Chase,” ridiculed the “highly-entitled wusses” that attend America’s universities.
When Mr. Burns tries to endow a Department of Nuclear Plant Management at his alma mater, Yale University, he comes face to face with the horror that is today’s college campus: easily offended, politically correct students overdosed with a hatred for micro-aggressions and cultural appropriation with a need for safe spaces.
Mr. Burns- I’d like to endow a Department of Nuclear Plant Management.
Male Yale Representative- Wonderful. Of course we can’t do nuclear.
Female Yale Representative – Our students are highly-entitled wusses.
Male Yale Representative – You’d be creating a space for violence to happen. How about funding a chair in the non-narrative cinema of self-identified pan-sexuals?
Mr. Burns- What? What? What? What? What?!
Female Yale Representative – We also need to hire more deans to decide which Halloween costumes are appropriate.
Male Yale Representative – Eight deans should do it.
Mr. Burns- (Sputters) Is this still a coven of capitalism where evil money can acquire a patina of virtue?
Male Yale Representative – Yes, that’s in our charter.
Female Yale Representative – But with an issue as hetero-patriarchal as nuclear power, we’ll have to hire multicultural empathizers, build a new safe space.
College Student- Not so fast. We insist on a chair of anti-nuclear studies and a nuclear-neutral curriculum pathway.
Male Yale Representative – Absolutely, Teddy. We run all decisions past the squash team.
College Student- Also the fencing team, water polo and Handsome Dan the mascot.
Mascot- (Goofy laughter)
Mr. Burns- Release me, you hound.
Mascot- (Goofy laughter) Oh, yeah.
Mr. Burns- What’s happened to this place? (Gasps) (Gasps) This was the home of ruthless media disruptor Samuel F.B. Morse. Who’s his successor? That fellow?
College Student- “Fellow”? That word is cis-gender-normative, okay? You’re worse than Hitler!
Mr. Burns- Too late for flattery. I’m not giving this school a dime.
The Simpsons was explicit in its parody of Yale students, even using an exact quote from a student.
Mr. Burns learns that the PC-obsession has reached all corners of the university as he meets a few recently fired professors, including one professor who was fired for celebrating Columbus Day and another who referred to God as “He.”
Later in the episode, Homer must disrupt a man’s scheme to place robot-students in colleges in order to receive tax-payer funded student loans. Upon leaving a gender-neutral bathroom, Homer comes up with a plan to sabotage the robots by offending them.
This video wasn’t loading successfully this morning, but I’ll leave it here for now, hoping that they’ll fix the link.
As the University considers replacing the term “freshman” with the gender-neutral term “first-year,” several administrators have begun using the language in their official correspondence with students in advance of any formal change.
According to Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Hannah Peck, freshman counselors will now be recognized officially as “first-year counselors.” In an email to the News on Wednesday, Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway said there were no new developments in a strategic plan for the change or a formal timeline for its implementation.
Still, in an acceptance email Peck sent to next year’s class of FroCos, she referred to the position using the new name and did not give an explanation for the change. And in an email to Timothy Dwight students about housing arrangements, TD Dean Sarah Mahurin used both “first year students” and “freshmen.”
Dean of Student Affairs Camille Lizarríbar, who is leading the name-change efforts, previously told the News that administrators were committed to replacing the term “freshman” and that the change would likely become official before next academic year starts.
Why would anybody attend a school run by these kinds of douchebags?
William Deresiewicz is a big squishy liberal, who thinks racism (after 50+ years of constant indoctrination, social engineering, and federal scrutiny of American hearts and minds) is still a terrible major problem, but even he is appalled at the Speech & Thought Control PC regime that has taken power at every elite college and university.
Selective private colleges have become religious schools. The religion in question is not Methodism or Catholicism but an extreme version of the belief system of the liberal elite: the liberal professional, managerial, and creative classes, which provide a large majority of students enrolled at such places and an even larger majority of faculty and administrators who work at them. To attend those institutions is to be socialized, and not infrequently, indoctrinated into that religion. ..
Elite private colleges are ideologically homogeneous because they are socially homogeneous, or close to it. Their student populations largely come from the liberal upper and upper-middle classes, multiracial but predominantly white, with an admixture of students from poor communities of color—two demographics with broadly similar political beliefs, as evidenced by the fact that they together constitute a large proportion of the Democratic Party base. As for faculty and managerial staff, they are even more homogenous than their students, both in their social origins and in their present milieu, which tends to be composed exclusively of other liberal professionals—if not, indeed, of other liberal academics. Unlike the campus protesters of the 1960s, today’s student activists are not expressing countercultural views. They are expressing the exact views of the culture in which they find themselves (a reason that administrators prove so ready to accede to their demands). If you want to find the counterculture on today’s elite college campuses, you need to look for the conservative students.
Which brings us to another thing that comes with dogma: heresy. Heresy means those beliefs that undermine the orthodox consensus, so it must be eradicated: by education, by reeducation—if necessary, by censorship. It makes a perfect, dreary sense that there are speech codes, or the desire for speech codes, at selective private colleges. …
[P]olitical correctness is not about justice or creating a safe environment; it is about power. And so much of what is taking place at colleges today reflects the way that relations of power have been reconfigured in contemporary higher education. Campus activists are taking advantage of the fact (and I suspect that a lot of them understand this intuitively, if not explicitly) that students have a lot more power than they used to. The change is the result not only of the rise of the customer-service mentality in academia, but also of the proletarianization of the faculty. Students have risen; instructors have fallen. Where once administrations worked in alliance with the faculty, were indeed largely composed of faculty, now they work against the faculty in alliance with students, a separate managerial stratum more interested in the satisfaction of its customers than the well-being of its employees. …
The power of political correctness is wielded not only against the faculty, however, but also against other groups within the student body, ones who don’t belong to the ideologically privileged demographics or espouse the approved points of view: conservative students; religious students, particularly Christians; students who identify as Zionists, a category that includes a lot of Jewish students; “athletes,” meaning white male athletes; white students from red states; heterosexual cisgendered white men from anywhere at all, who represent, depending on the school, between a fifth and a third of all students. (I say this, by the way, as an atheist, a democratic socialist, a native northeasterner, a person who believes that colleges should not have sports teams in the first place—and in case it isn’t obvious by now, a card-carrying member of the liberal elite.) I haven’t heard too many people talk about creating safe spaces for Christians, or preventing micro-aggressions against conservatives, or banning hate speech against athletes, or disinviting socialists.
What I have heard, frequently, for as long as I have been involved in academia, are open expressions of contempt or prejudice or hostility against those suspect groups or members of those groups. If you are a white man, you are routinely regarded as guilty until proven innocent, the worst possible construction is put upon your words, and anything you say on a sensitive issue is received with suspicion at best. I attended a workshop on micro-aggressions at the University of Missouri last year. The problem with micro-aggressions, the leader said, is that they “create a space of hostility,” that they say, “you don’t belong; you are different in a way that’s not okay.” Those formulations precisely describe the environment that the groups I just enumerated often encounter at elite private colleges, except that unlike the typical micro-aggression, the offense is not inadvertent. It is quite deliberate.
Detail, statue of John C. Calhoun in U.S. Capitol.
The little bolsheviks at the Oldest College Daily gleefully report that the inevitable has happened.
Yale President Peter Salovey and the other invertebrates making up the Yale Corporation on Saturday acted upon the recommendation of Salovey’s hand-picked committee of SJWs and re-named Calhoun College. In future, the Yale residential college formerly bearing the name of the 19th century statesman holding the highest rank in American Government of any deceased Yale graduate at the time the original ten colleges were named will be renamed in favor of Grace Hopper, a black* female who attended Yale Graduate School, taught Mathematics at Vassar, and then served in the Navy Reserve.
Yale’s traditional primary emphasis on the undergraduate college, in 1930, would have excluded any mere Graduate School alumn from consideration for such an honor, but Peter Salovey himself went to Stanford and only attended Yale grad school. Under Salovey, two newly-built residential colleges were recently named for Ben Franklin, whose only connection to Yale was his receipt of an honorary degree, and for some black lesbian (whom nobody not a communist had ever heard of) who went to Yale Law School.
Poor old John Calhoun has been singled out as an exceptional advocate of Slavery by today’s Radical Activist Left based on their hyper-simplified Howard-Zinn-comic-book view of American history. They haven’t, so far, figured out that Elihu Yale traded slaves, that Reverend Davenport owned slaves, that Samuel F.B. Morse was a keener defender of Slavery than John Calhoun, that Benjamin Silliman‘s Yale tuition was raised by the sale of some slaves, that Bishop Berkeley has a college because he kindly gave Yale a plantation equipped with slaves, and so on.
What is important about this farce is the tragic fact that both the Yale President and the Yale Corporation have proven themselves both too cowardly and too intellectually nugatory to stand up to the childish demands of the activist campus mob. They feel themselves obliged to follow the lead, and to take moral instruction, from the Radical Left simply, in the final analysis, because the Left has strong moral opinions, and they, “men with empty chests,” as C.S. Lewis put it, have none at all.
God help Yale, God help America, when the highest of places in the national establishment are occupied by such completely useless nonentities and poltroons.
Correction: Grace Hopper wasn’t black, merely female. I was misled by her photograph in old age. Thanks to Joel Pomerantz.
John Caldwell Calhoun (1782-1850), Yale Class of 1804, 7th Vice President of the United States 1825-1832.
Peter Salovey’s hand-picked committee of Social Justice Warriors has deliberated and, what do you know? They decided that John C. Calhoun should be singled out among all nine slave-owner and slavery defender namesakes of three quarters of the original twelve Yale residential colleges for elimination.
A University task force has recommended that Calhoun College be renamed, according to Yale officials with knowledge of the group’s report.
The recommendation from the task force, which was charged with applying the University’s newly created principles on renaming to the Calhoun debate, positions the Yale Corporation to rename the college when it meets the weekend of Feb. 10 and 11.
University President Peter Salovey formed the Calhoun task force in December, after the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming released its report. The task force consisted of two faculty members, history professor John Gaddis and English and African American Studies professor Jacqueline Goldsby GRD ’98, and one alumnus, G. Leonard Baker ’64. Both Gaddis and Goldsby signed a faculty petition last spring calling for the renaming of Calhoun, named after slavery proponent John C. Calhoun, class of 1804.
On Jan. 13, the task force submitted its recommendation — which came in the form of a report running less than 10 pages — to Salovey, who will present it to the Corporation at the February meeting.
Last month, Salovey told the News that he did not plan to release the recommendation until after that meeting. Salovey was not involved in the task force’s deliberations, although he did have some input on the final draft of the report.
“The task force did their work independently, and their analysis and recommendations are their own,” Salovey said in January. “They gave me the courtesy of letting me see a next-to-final draft of their report, and make some comments. But my comments to them were really only about sort of clarifying the way their findings were expressed.”
If the Corporation accepts the task force’s recommendation, the University trustees would be voting to reverse their decision last April to keep Calhoun’s name. The April renaming decision incited months of student and faculty backlash, and helped unite Yale activists and New Haven community members in a growing “change the name” movement.
Last August, primarily in response to faculty criticism of the decision to keep the name of Calhoun, Salovey charged the CEPR with outlining broad guidelines for all renaming disputes at the University, starting with Calhoun. The committee released its 24-page report on Dec. 2, calling on administrators to consider historical context as they determine whether the legacies of controversial namesakes like Calhoun justify renaming campus buildings.
Vice President for Communications Eileen O’Connor declined to comment on the nature of the task force’s recommendation, but said the Corporation will decide the Calhoun issue at its meeting later this month.
“We have a process, we’re following the process, and we’ll take all the information into account when we make a decision in the best interests of the University,” O’Connor said.
I have unhappy news for Mr. Salovey. In the great racism sweepstakes, John Calhoun was an amateur. Far more egregious was Elihu Yale, the philanthropist whose benefactions helped found the university. As an administrator in India, he was deeply involved in the slave trade. He always made sure that ships leaving his jurisdiction for Europe carried at least 10 slaves. I propose that the committee on renaming table the issue of Calhoun College and concentrate on the far more flagrant name “Yale.”
Nicholas Pell, at Reason, demolishes Hamilton, the PC Musical which the chattering classes love.
We have Lin-Manuel Miranda to blame for this cultural atrocity, a scion of a psychologist and an advisor to New York mayor Ed Koch, who attended the same elementary and high school as Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. Sure, he got bullied by Immortal Technique in school, but how much street cred is that really worth? After this he attended Wesleyan University, a top-10-ranked school that costs $65,000 a year, according to Forbes, before making his mark writing jingles for noted prostitute-enthusiast Eliot Spitzer’s 2006 campaign. The original version of Hamilton debuted at a Vassar College workshop. All this is, of course, an attempt to firmly establish Miranda’s street cred, which is unassailable.
Some are irritated about the people who aren’t white playing white people, but I’m not. The whole production plays so fast and loose with the truth that it’s hard to pick any particular piece to criticize, there’s a reality correlation approximating that of the Weekly World News. At the top of the list, though, has to be casting Alexander Hamilton as some sort of proto-multicultural progressive. That’s either stupidity or mendacity, take your pick. Hamilton was, if anything, the most aristocratic of the Founding Fathers, the closest thing to a Colonial Tory. You know that electoral college you’ve been gnashing your teeth over for the last couple months? Guess whose idea that was?
Of course, shit music and feels-over-reals weren’t the whole problem with America in 2016—and they aren’t the biggest deal facing us in 2017, either. No, the worst thing about this present moment in time is the smugness with which zillionaires and their sycophants on the coasts piss all over anyone who does actual work for a living.
Historically speaking, you’ve got high art and folk art, each with their own set of aesthetic guidelines and measuring sticks. What’s historically anomalous is commercial art—art that exists not due to the patronage of cultured elites or through the unrewarded efforts of the hoi polloi. It’s art that exists to make money.
Art that exists to make money isn’t a bad thing. A lot of the best music of the 20th century was commercial art. The Beatles are probably one of a handful of things anyone will remember about the 20th century in 500 years, a stunning example of commercial art as inspired genius. What’s irritating, though, is when well-connected millionaires make art for the sake of signaling their moral superiority over the masses on the basis of their correct beliefs. Hamilton has become a sort of avatar of the Lena Dunham Democratic Party against the rest of the world, perhaps best displayed by the cast lecturing Vice President Elect Mike Pence (the closest thing to a Wal-Mart greeter they’ll ever be in the same room as) about tolerance.
Tickets for Hamtilton start between $179 and $199, with high-end tickets going for $849. Once they hit the secondary market (A.K.A. scalpers) you’re looking at between $650 and $1500 on Stubhub. Is this because it’s the best musical on Broadway? Or is it because Hamilton is this season’s most fashionable way to signal liberal respectability and status among the One Percenters?
This isn’t speaking truth to power. This is power telling the rest of us what truth is. There’s nary a hint of self-awareness as those only vaguely aware of poverty and toil through a sociology textbook deign to lecture us little people about America’s ‘real values.’ That’s what’s wrong with America in the current year.
The election of Donald Trump and the leave vote in the United Kingdom aren’t just political decisions. They’re a cultural revolt against the pomposity of upper-crust liberals who don’t have to live with the consequences of their own values. Hamilton is where the modern day Marie Antoinettes tell unemployed forklift drivers to eat cake.
Off in the distance, the sans cullotes are sharpening the guillotine. The aloof nobles catching the latest performance of Hamilton have no idea they’re about to be cast—much against their will—in a bit part in Les Miserables.